|Rally Albania: The weather changed on Tuesday, short but tricky stage.|
Tuesday morning the participants prepared for another beautiful warm day, after the sun woke up the crews nicely in Pogradec. But the day became dark, wet and very cold. A big storm from Greece sent dark clouds, heavy rain and a temperature crash from 25 to 12 degrees. "We have not see rain in June for five years - and we have almost never had these cold temperatures in June, it´s unbelievable," a local medic reported.
After a lighter stage on Monday, Tuesday´s stage was supposed to be tougher again and split in two stages. But the organizers had to cancel the first part because of a broken road. Now after a liaison to nearby the city of Korca in the Northeast of Albania, there were only 14 kilometers timed section waiting until the finish in the small village Voskopoja.
So it looked like it will be a short day again - and in the bikes and quads the most finished within 21 minutes. But in the cars after the first two teams the distances became bigger and bigger. Some cars were totally lost after a difficult navigation point, didn´t find their way back in the roadbook. Because of the big time differences in the cars in a very short stage, some drivers asked to neutralize this day for the category - and after a discussion the organization confirmed. So the overall results of Monday will remain valid.
In the bikes it was "the day" for the navigators. Slovak Boris Vlha got the stage win with his Yamaha WR450 in 17:51 minutes in front of Estonian Toomas Triisa (Honda CRF450) with only 25 seconds more. Third became Greek Vasilis Boudros (Husaberg FE450) in 18:40 mins, followed by Arthur Breukelaar from Holland (KTM 450EXC, 19:35) and Christian Pastori (Beta RR520, 19:44).
In the overall rankings Italian Pastori is still the leader, the positions were nearly the same as on Monday, only Arthur Breukelaar (now 8th) and the German Johannes Baumgärtel (KTM 450EXC, now 9th) changed their places.
In the quads, Slovenian Edward Jerak (Arctic Cat) again won the stage, he needed 21:51 minutes for the 14 kilometers. He was only 12 seconds faster than the Bulgarian rally lady Zornica Todorova (Yamaha) and 47 seconds than Dutchman Rene van As (CanAm). The top five were completed with Petrus van Eerd (NL, KTM, 23:05) and Joze Zalar (Arctic Cat) from Slovenia with 24:41 minutes.
Overall, Edward Jerak still leads the rally in the quads with 10:02:13 hours in front of Zornica Todorova (+03:36 mins) and Gerben Lieverdink (+02:39:18 hours). Fourth is Slovenian Joze Zalar (+04:33:41), fifth Raymond Koldewijn from Holland with a gap of 11:26:32 hours.
Wednesday was another day in Voskopoja, the 5th stage was organized as a round course with a 70 kms timed section and 110 kms of liaison. The organizers warned especially the bikers that because of the heavy rain some parts of the stage could be slippery and muddy. The weather didn´t warm up... so the day will be cold again...
2013/06/12 | 16:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS